Although Jasper Jones is set in the 1960’s this story could’ve taken place anywhere, anytime in Australia Craig Silvey published the Australian novel Jasper Jones in 2009, making the comparison between the moral values today and in the 1960’s blatantly obvious. Jasper Jones is a story that explores the main issues of racial prejudice and ignorance in rural Australia during the 1960’s. We follow thirteen-year-old Charlie Bucktin in his rite of passage to adulthood through the erosion of his innocence as a result of the harsh realities of the real word. We find the dangers of forming assumptions about people based on stereotypes. The novel foregrounds multiculturalism; or lack of and racial prejudice within the country in the 1960’s, promoting the genuine difference in moral values held by most Australians almost halve a century ago. Jasper Jones is set in the small mining town of Corrigin in Australia. Throughout the novel we learn of the small town mentality held by Corrigin. The small town lacks diversity and individuality. Since the story in set in a small country town, the pandemic of small-mindedness is compelling. Rather it be set in a city, diversity would be more prevalent. The town folk are racially prejudice and judgemental, we find this often specifically aimed at Jasper Jones; “I’ve never once been caught, they suspect it, they expect it” (page 45). In this quote we see the town make assumptions on Jasper without any evidence of wrongdoing. In the small town stereotypes are apparent and narrow-minded, ignorance is evident throughout the novels entirety. The term multiculturalism was unheard of during the 1960’s in Australia. Racism is foregrounded throughout the novel especially towards the Lu family. The Lu’s are considered racial outsiders in Corrigin due to their Vietnamese decent. As the novel was set during the time of the Vietnam War the Lu’s were used as scapegoats for the impact the war has on the town. Sue Findlay attacks Mrs...
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